It was business, but not serious. (PPRacer)

Now there’s a weird subject line if ever there was one.

Hello everyone. Yesterday (March 5th), I did a half hour interview on Tech Books (with Carolyn Weaver) talking about Linux in business and, since it was a book show, my “Moving to the Linux Business Desktop“. The show is taped in three seven minute segments followed by a 3 minute wrap-up. During the second break, I fired up a game of PlanetPenguin Racer (PPRacer, for short) which everybody on the set loved so much, we used it as the intro for the third segment. I think I said something like, “See, that’s what business really wants from their desktop operating system . . . cool games!” I was kidding, of course. Sort of.

I’ll let you know when the show is to air (sometime in the next six weeks) but for now, I wanted to tell you about PPRacer. Some of you may have already played with TuxRacer, the downhill racing game where Tux, our favourite mascot, races down snow and ice covered hills on his belly. It fast, it’s crazy, and it’s a lot of fun. After the creators of TuxRacer decided to close the source and go commercial, the original GPL code was out there on the Net waiting for somebody (in this case, a guy who goes by MrFriendly) to pick it up and continue developing it.

There are a number of improvements over the old TuxRacer including better screen control, more options for game play, and several new courses to practice and race on. There’s even a rather strange golf course theme where Tux goes racing down some very green hills. Ouch! Looks painful. All in all, the game feels better than its predecessor (the GPL TuxRacer) which was already a lot of fun. If you can spare a bit of time or you are willing to risk yet another excuse for eating up your spare time, you should really check it out.

The new PPRacer is available at with source code. There are binaries available for SUSE, Slackware, and Fedora, on the site as well. I run Mandrake on my notebook and I had no trouble locating contrib binaries on so you probably don’t need to compile it if you don’t want to.

Game development is active and they are even planning a network play version. It will be interesting to see how that goes.

Have fun, and take care out there.

— Marcel

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